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Sips of new flavour in a teacup

LAHORE, March 8: The Pak Tea House, once a favourite hang-out for the literati and intellectuals, was opened to the public after around one and a half decade by Pakistan Muslim League-N President Nawaz Sharif here on Friday.

Describing the reopening of the place as no less than the mega project of the Metro Bus Service, the former prime minister said he used to have a cup of tea here during his student life.

Congratulating his nephew Hamza Shahbaz for taking personal interest in the restoration of the facility, Nawaz said he wished to preserve the cultural traditions of his hometown.

Known as India Tea House before the partition, it was closed more than 13 years ago as the building tenant converted it into a tyre shop owing to his financial constraints.

The City District Government of Lahore had undertaken the restoration work in April last year when it took possession of the building from the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA), the property owner, through an agreement on Rs10,000 monthly rent.

The project worth Rs8.5 million faced hurdles at various stages as a result of which the CDGL missed many deadlines of completion — Aug 14, Sept 30, Oct 7 and 25 last year.

The former building tenant had challenged the agreement between the YMCA and the CDGL in a court of law and managed to get a stay order. The CDGL got the stay order vacated in June last year after which the officials got down to construction.